Village Preservation continues to work with our allies with whom we have formed the Save SoHo-NoHo Coalition to protect these neighborhoods in the face of real estate and institutional interests advocating for disturbing changes to the neighborhood’s zoning. Currently the Mayor’s City Planning Department, Borough President Gale Brewer, and City Councilmember Margaret Chin are leading a process to “examine” the neighborhood’s zoning, which seems geared towards making changes. See coverage in The Villager, Bowery Boogie, and Patch.
Hundreds turned out again for the last public meeting held on the potential rezoning, at which many residents expressed skepticism about the process, the lack of inclusion of the ‘Advisory Board’ established to steer the process (from which Village Preservation was excluded, but the Real Estate Board of NY and NYU were given seats) and the lack of accurate or complete information being provided about the neighborhoods by the conveners. City Planning’s presentation appeared to blame landmark designation for retail vacancies in the neighborhood, even though landmarked areas often show lower rates of retail vacancies than comparable non-landmarked areas.